Feature image - My October

My October

My October and the past few months have been hectic. Let me share the details with you.

The last few months, including October, were hectic. Finally, I get to share them with you. Books were read, a writer’s festival was attended, and many waistcoats were sewn.

Waistcoats…wait, what?

As you may know, I sew waistcoats and other accessories to sell at various themed markets and on request. During August the five waistcoat orders appeared from nowhere. I had to fit those on top of my four full days a week regular job. Like I said in the intro – hectic. You’ll be pleased to learn that said waistcoats were completed and sent to their new owners in time for their event. And yes, after that marathon I needed a glass of wine, or two.

As a side, friends of mine, Diane and Tania, decided they’d like to have a market stall selling their awesome crafts and I agreed to join them. August was the start of this venture, and they have had good sales so far. My sales generally come later, when people check their sizes and get back to me with an order.

Let’s talk about books.

During July, August, September, and October I read these books

You may notice that July and August were lacking in the reading department. But I refer you to the previous heading as my excuse.

July – Fantasy, mystery and a twist
August – Dodgy Government agents, murder and mayhem
September – Steampunk, Killing machines, Strong female characters and a bit of fun.
Also September – Murder, mystery and a twist with a sense of humour.
September – The only non-fiction in the mix. The title says it all.
and the last one for September – Beautiful, tears, laughter and love.
October – Yes, I read the third book of the series first, and I liked it. If you like Chinese fantasy then this is for you.

Reading in October

Richard Osman’s The Bullet that Missed. I love all the members of the Thursday Murder Club, but just between you and me, Joyce is my favourite.

What’s in the TBR Pile?

The pile keeps getting bigger. Recent books I’ve added include Death at the Belvedere by Sue Williams and The Bellbird Country Choir by Sophie Green.

An Author talk and a Writers Festival

In August I attended the Penrith Library to hear Sophie Green talk about her newest book The Bellbird Country Choir and in September, I attended the State Library of NSW for the BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival.

I love hearing authors talk about their books and their writing process. And of course, it’s the perfect opportunity to buy more books with the added bonus of meeting the author and getting the book signed. But any excuse to buy a book any time is good…thus the additions to the TBR pile.

In case you missed it, my previous post, What do you get out of a Writer’s Festival? can be found here.

The Latest Podcast Chat – October

A friend recently introduced me to a couple of AI Art websites. You write a description of what picture you’d like and the website creates the picture combining work it finds on the web (I think. I’m not in any way educated in this domain). Anyhoo, I tried it, and was not entirely happy with the result, after only one attempt mind you. I keyed in the words: female centaur warrior on a hill overlooking a green valley in the style of fantasy. The result was a little wacky – A woman with one leg and a weird comb-over mane sitting on a horse with three legs, on a hill overlooking a valley – that part they got right.

But by coincidence, The Creative Penn podcast featured this very topic. Authors are using AI Art generators to create their book covers. In this recent episode, Joanne Penn speaks to author Derek Murphy, who is knowledgeable in such things as “Using AI for Art, Images, And Book Covers”. Joanna and Derek also talk about copyright and all things to do with using AI art and where it’s going.

I just learned this –

The dash – straight, wiggly or otherwise, above certain letters in certain words, is called an acute accent. So you could say: the guy in the Cafe had a cute accent but the e-in cafe has an acute accent. Or not? An attempt at humour.

The only problem I have is teaching my old laptop to add the accent which is how I found out what it was so I could look up how to do it. I know now, but my computer won’t let me.

October is Halloween month.

October = Halloween = costumes and shenanigans

Last October I posted about my time in the costume hire industry. On the one hand, Halloween is commercialised and on the other, it is a great reason to have a party and bonus, with no need for presents.

Why pumpkins?

“The centrepiece of the American Halloween tradition is the jack-o’-lantern –the gutted pumpkin carved with a delightful design that glows by the insertion of a candle or battery-operated light. Many historians claim that the original idea …came from the Celts, who hollowed out apples and vegetables (even turnips) as safe candle holders, which were later used by medieval Europeans as small lanterns. Whether or not the early Celts carved faces in the apples, turnips or beets to ward off evil is debatable.”

An excerpt from the book – Halloween by Silver Ravenwolf, published in 1999.

It seems the lanterns were used to keep the devil away or lit the way for the souls of departed loved ones; depending on which explanation you read. Halloween is All Hallow’s eve – the day before All Saints day so does have some Christian ideals.

This year there will be no Halloween parties for me. Hubby and I will be sampling the art of cruising. That’s right a weekend away on a floating RSL. All our friends do it and claim they love it, so let’s find out what it’s all about.

Writing News –

At the end of September, I wrote those two little words – The End. I started the Manuscript – The Messenger, in September 2022 and added 50,000 words during the November writing frenzy called NaNoWriMo. I struggled with the big ending, for a few weeks, but I finally got there.

NaNoWriMo – I’ve signed up for 2023. Last year I was a winner, let’s see how I go this year. Wish me luck.

How’s life for you? What are you reading? Are you joining in the Halloween fun?

Take care everyone.

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